We live in an era where our health is linked to that of others across the globe, and nothing brings this home better than the specter of a pandemic. This paper explores the findings of town hall meetings associated with the Canadian Program of Research on Ethics in a Pandemic , in which focus groups met to discuss issues related to the global governance of an influenza pandemic. Two competing discourses were found to be at work: the first was based (...) upon an economic rationality and the second upon a humanitarian rationality. The implications for public support and the long-term sustainability of new global norms, networks, and regulations in global public health are discussed. (shrink)
The Neo-Aristotelian ethical naturalism of Philippa Foot and Rosalind Hursthouse purports to establish a naturalistic criterion for the virtues. Specifically, by developing a parallel between the natural ends of nonhuman animals and the natural ends of human beings, they argue that character traits are justified as virtues by the extent to which they promote and do not inhibit natural ends such as self-preservation, reproduction, and the well-being of one’s social group. I argue that the approach of Foot and Hursthouse cannot (...) provide a basis for moral universalism, the widely-accepted idea that each human being has moral worth and thus deserves significant moral consideration. Foot and Hursthouse both depict a virtuous agent as implicitly acting in accord with moral universalism. However, with respect to charity, a virtue they both emphasize, their naturalistic criterion at best provides a warrant for a restricted form of charity that extends only to a limited number of persons. There is nothing in the natural ends of human beings, as Foot and Hursthouse understand these, that gives us a reason for having any concern for the well-being of human beings as such. (shrink)
One of the most noteworthy features of David Gauthier's rational choice, contractarian theory of morality is its appeal to self-interested rationality. This appeal, however, will undoubtedly be the source of much controversy and criticism. For while self-interestedness is characteristic of much human behavior, it is not characteristic of all such behavior, much less of that which is most admirable. Yet contractarian ethics appears to assume that humans are entirely self-interested. It is not usually thought a virtue of a theory that (...) its assumptions are literally false. What may be said on behalf of the contractarian? (shrink)
Medical analogies are commonly invoked in both Indian Buddhist dharma and Hellenistic philosophy. In the Pāli Canon, nirvana is depicted as a form of health, and the Buddha is portrayed as a doctor who helps us attain it. Much later in the tradition, Śāntideva described the Buddha’s teaching as ‘the sole medicine for the ailments of the world, the mine of all success and happiness.’ Cicero expressed the view of many Hellenistic philosophers when he said that philosophy is ‘a medical (...) science for the mind.’ He thought we should ‘hand ourselves over to philosophy, and let ourselves be healed.’ ‘For as long as these ills [of the mind] remain,’ he wrote, ‘we cannot attain to happiness.’ There are many different forms of medical analogy in these two traditions, but the most general form may be stated as follows: just as medicine cures bodily diseases and brings about physical health, so Buddhist dharma or Hellenistic philosophy cures mental diseases and brings about psychological health—where psychological health is understood as the highest form of happiness or well-being. Insofar as Buddhist dharma involves philosophy, as it does, both renditions of the analogy may be said to declare that philosophy cures mental diseases and brings about psychological health. This feature of the analogy—philosophy as analogous to medical treatment—has attracted considerable attention. (shrink)
The sovereignty of the people, it is widely said, is the foundation of modern democracy. The truth of this claim depends on the plausibility of attributing sovereignty to “the people” in the first place, and I shall express skepticism about this possibility. I shall suggest as well that the notion of popular sovereignty is complex, and that appeals to the notion may be best understood as expressing several different ideas and ideals. This essay distinguishes many of these and suggests that (...) greater clarity at least would be obtained by focusing directly on these notions and ideals and eschewing that of sovereignty. My claim, however, will not merely be that the notion is multifaceted and complex. I shall argue as well that the doctrine that the people are, or ought to be, sovereign is misleading in potentially dangerous ways, and is conducive to a misunderstanding of the nature of politics, governance, and social order. It would be well to do without the doctrine, but it may be equally important to understand its errors. Our understandings and justifications of democracy, certainly, should dispense with popular sovereignty. (shrink)
The first book of its kind, Buddhist Moral Philosophy: An Introduction introduces the reader to contemporary philosophical interpretations and analyses of Buddhist ethics. It begins with a survey of traditional Buddhist ethical thought and practice, mainly in the Pali Canon and early Mahāyāna schools, and an account of the emergence of Buddhist moral philosophy as a distinct discipline in the modern world. It then examines recent debates about karma, rebirth and nirvana, well-being, normative ethics, moral objectivity, moral psychology, and the (...) issue of freedom, responsibility and determinism. The book also introduces the reader to philosophical discussions of topics in socially engaged Buddhism such as human rights, war and peace, and environmental ethics. (shrink)
Recent work in argumentation theory has emphasized the nature of arguers and arguments along with various theoretical perspectives. Less attention has been given to the third feature of any argumentative situation - the audience. This book fills that gap by studying audience reception to argumentation and the problems that come to light as a result of this shift in focus. Christopher W. Tindale advances the tacit theories of several earlier thinkers by addressing the central problems connected with audience considerations (...) in argumentation, problems that earlier philosophical theories overlook or inadequately accommodate. The main tools employed in exploring the central issues are drawn from contemporary philosophical research on meaning, testimony, emotion and agency. These are then combined with some of the major insights of recent rhetorical work in argumentation to advance our understanding of audiences and suggest avenues for further research. (shrink)
Fallacies and Argument Appraisal presents an introduction to the nature, identification, and causes of fallacious reasoning, along with key questions for evaluation. Drawing from the latest work on fallacies as well as some of the standard ideas that have remained relevant since Aristotle, Christopher Tindale investigates central cases of major fallacies in order to understand what has gone wrong and how this has occurred. Dispensing with the approach that simply assigns labels and brief descriptions of fallacies, Tindale provides fuller (...) treatments that recognize the dialectical and rhetorical contexts in which fallacies arise. This volume analyzes major fallacies through accessible, everyday examples. Critical questions are developed for each fallacy to help the student identify them and provide considered evaluations. (shrink)
Our lives are such that moral wrongdoing is sometimes inescapable for us. We have moral responsibilities to persons which may conflict and which it is wrong to violate even when they do conflict. Christopher W. Gowans argues that we must accept this conclusion if we are to make sense of our moral experience and the way in which persons are valuable to us. In defending this position, he critically examines the recent moral dilemmas debate. He maintains that what is (...) important in this debate is not whether there are irresolvable moral conflicts, but whether there are moral conflicts in which wrongdoing is unavoidable. Though it would be incoherent to conclude moral deliberation by deciding to perform incompatible actions, he argues that there is nothing incoherent in supposing that we have conflicting moral responsibilities. In this way, he shows that it is possible to capture the intuitions of those who have defended the idea of moral dilemmas while meeting the objections of those who have rejected this idea. Gowans carefully evaluates utilitarian and Kantian analyses of moral dilemmas. He argues that these approaches eliminate genuine moral conflict only by displacing persons as direct objects of moral concern. As an alternative, he develops a more concrete account in which moral responsibilities to persons are central. The book also includes discussions of Melville's Billy Budd, methodology in moral philosophy, moral pluralism, moral tragedy, and "dirty hands" in politics. (shrink)
The essays in this volume illuminate a central topic in ethical theory: moral dilemmas. Some contemporary philosophers dispute the traditional view that a true moral dilemma -- a situation in which a person has two irreconcilable moral duties -- cannot exist. This collection provides the historical background to the ongoing debate with selections from Kant, Mill, Bradley, and Ross. The best recent work on the question is represented in essays by Donagan, Foot, Hare, Marcus, Nagel, van Fraassen, Williams, and others.
We have developed the concept of microseismic facies analysis, a method that facilitates partitioning of an unconventional reservoir into distinct facies units on the basis of their microseismic response along with integrated interpretation of microseismic observations with 3D seismic data. It is based upon proposed links between magnitude-frequency distributions and scaling properties of reservoirs, including the effects of mechanical bed thickness and stress heterogeneity. We evaluated the method using data from hydraulic fracture monitoring of a Late Cretaceous tight sand reservoir (...) in central Alberta, in which microseismic facies can be correlated with surface seismic attributes from a coincident 3D seismic survey. Facies zones are evident on the basis of attribute crossplots, such as maximum moment release rate versus cluster azimuth. The microseismically defined facies correlate well with principal curvature anomalies from 3D seismic data. By combining microseismic facies analysis with regional trends derived from log and core data, we delineate reservoir partitions that appear to reflect structural and depositional trends. (shrink)
This important book is the first serious philosophical examination of the modern state. It inquires into the justification of this particular form of political society. It asks whether all states are 'nation-states', what are the alternative ways of organizing society, and which conditions make a state legitimate. The author concludes that, while states can be legitimate, they typically fail to have the powers that they claim. Many books analyze government and its functions but none focuses on the state as a (...) distinctive form of political organization or examines critically the claims states make for themselves. In filling this lacuna Christopher Morris has written a book that will command the attention of political philosophers, political scientists, legal theorists, and specialists in international relations. (shrink)
This innovative text reinvigorates argumentation studies by exploring the experience of argument across cultures, introducing an anthropological perspective into the domains of rhetoric, communication, and philosophy. The Anthropology of Argument fills an important gap in contemporary argumentation theory by shifting the focus away from the purely propositional element of arguments and onto how they emerge from the experiences of peoples with diverse backgrounds, demonstrating how argumentation can be understood as a means of expression and a gathering place of ideas and (...) styles. Confronting the limitations of the Western tradition of logic and searching out the argumentative roles of place, orality, myth, narrative, and audience, it examines the nature of multi-modal argumentation. Tindale analyzes the impacts of colonialism on the field and addresses both optimistic and cynical assessments of contextual difference. The results have implications for our understanding of contemporary argumentative discourse in areas marked by deep disagreement, like politics, law and social policy. The book will interest scholars and upper-level students in communication, philosophy, argumentation theory, anthropology, rhetoric, linguistics, and cultural studies. (shrink)
Amartya Sen was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1998 'for his contributions in welfare economics'. Although his primary academic appointments have been mostly in economics, Sen is also an important and influential social theorist and philosopher. His work on social choice theory is seminal, and his writings on poverty, famine, and development, as well his contributions to moral and political philosophy, are important and influential. Sen's views about the nature and primacy of liberty also make him a (...) major contemporary liberal thinker. This volume of essays on aspects of Sen's work is aimed at a broad audience of readers interested in social theory, political philosophy, ethics, public policy, welfare economics, the theory of rational choice, poverty, and development. Written by a team of well-known experts, each chapter provides an overview of Sen's work in a particular area and a critical assessment of his contributions to the field. (shrink)
This book addresses critical issues in normative ethical theory. Every such theory must contain not only a theory of motivation but also a theory of value, and the link that is often forged between what is valuable and what would be right is human welfare or well-being. This topic is a subject of considerable controversy in contemporary ethics, not least because of the current reconsideration of utilitarianism. Indeed, there is as much disagreement about the nature of value and its relationship (...) to welfare and morality, as there is about the substantive content of normative ethical theories. The essays in this collection, all written by a distinguished team of moral philosophers, provide an overview, analysis and an attempted resolution of those controversies. They constitute a rigorous account of the relationships among value, welfare and morality. (shrink)
When any man, even in political society, renders himself by his crimes obnoxious to the public, he is punished by the laws in his goods and person; that is, the ordinary rules of justice are, with regard to him, suspended for a moment, and it becomes equitable to inflict on him, for the benefit of society, what otherwise he could not suffer without wrong or injury?
This paper discusses some of the ways recent models have brought rhetoric into argumentation theory. In particular, it explores the rationale for and role of rhetoric in the strategic maneuvering project of pragma-dialectics and compares it with the author’s own implementation of rhetorical features. A case is made for considering the active ways audiences influence the strategies of arguers and for seeing the role of rhetoric in argumentation as both fundamental and reasonable on its own terms.
In any field, we might expect different features relevant to its understanding and development to receive attention at different times, depending on the stage of that field’s growth and the interests that occupy theorists and even the history of the theorists themselves. In the relatively young life of argumentation theory, at least as it has formed a body of issues with identified research questions, attention has almost naturally been focused on the central concern of the field—arguments. Focus is also given (...) to the nature of arguers and the position of the evaluator, who is often seen as possessing a “God’s-eye view” (Hamblin 1970). Less attention, however, has been paid in the philosophical literature to the .. (shrink)
In 1958, Chaïm Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca published Traité de l'argumentation: La nouvelle rhétorique, the culmination of many years study. A seminal work in philosophy and rhetoric, it aimed to bring classical Aristotelian rhetoric into the modern era and present a model of argumentation that promoted action and reasonableness. One distinctive feature of the dense account found in this work is the claim that the success of argumentation can in part be measured by the responses of the audience for which (...) it is intended. By that standard, the project of the new rhetoric appears unsuccessful, because the audience for whom Perelman (and Olbrechts-Tyteca) expressly wrote was the audience least captivated by .. (shrink)
It is usually assumed that what Lewis says about the given in Mind and the World-Order (MWO) and An Analysis of Knowledge and Valuation (AKV) is essentially the same, and that both works are defenses of foundationalism. However, this assumption faces two problems: first, it is difficult to bring Lewis's diverse remarks on the given into coherence, especially when those in MWO are compared with those in AKV; and second, though AKV is a defense of foundationalism, there is much in (...) MWO that can be read as a critique of foundationalism. In this paper a different reading of Lewis is proposed, one that avoids these problems. This is developed by going farther back in Lewis, to his Harvard Ph.D. dissertation, The Place of Intuition in Knowledge (PIK). By tracing Lewis's discussion of the given from PIK through MWO up to AKV, it is shown that the phrase 'the given' is used to refer to two different doctrines, and that Lewis's position on foundationalism undergoes a fundamental change, roughly, from indifference to rejection to acceptance. (shrink)
I argue that the Buddha did not discuss the free will and determinism problem because he only considered issues relating to overcoming suffering and his teaching about this did not raise the problem. As represented in the Nikāyas, the heart of his teaching was an empirically based account of the causes of suffering and how to modify these to end suffering. It was primarily a practical teaching about how to achieve this goal, more a craft knowledge than a philosophical theory (...) of causality. Similarly, the no-self teaching was more about living selflessly than about developing a theoretical analysis of agency. (shrink)
The Neo-Aristotelian ethical naturalism of Philippa Foot and Rosalind Hursthouse purports to establish a naturalistic criterion for the virtues. Specifically, by developing a parallel between the natural ends of nonhuman animals and the natural ends of human beings, they argue that character traits are justified as virtues by the extent to which they promote and do not inhibit natural ends such as self-preservation, reproduction, and the well-being of one’s social group. I argue that the approach of Foot and Hursthouse cannot (...) provide a basis for moral universalism, the widely-accepted idea that each human being has moral worth and thus deserves significant moral consideration. Foot and Hursthouse both depict a virtuous agent as implicitly acting in accord with moral universalism. However, with respect to charity, a virtue they both emphasize, their naturalistic criterion (especially in the more elaborate form developed by Hursthouse) at best provides a warrant for a restricted form of charity that extends only to a limited number of persons. There is nothing in the natural ends of human beings, as Foot and Hursthouse understand these, that gives us a reason for having any concern for the well-being of human beings as such. (shrink)
This paper discusses the fundamental sense in which the components of an argument should be relevant to the intended audience. In particular, the evidence advanced should be relevant to the facts and assumptions that are manifest in the cognitive environment of the audience. A version of Sperber and Wilson's concept of the cognitive environment is applied to argumentative concerns, and from this certain features of audience-relevance are explored: that the relevance of a premise can vary with the audience; that irrelevant (...) premises can be made relevant; that evidence can be relevant by degrees; and that this notion of relevance will assist the argumentation analyst in the identification and assessment of hidden premises. (shrink)
This paper discusses the ways in which a person’s character ( ethos ) and a hearer’s emotional response ( pathos ) are part of the complex judgments made about experts’ claims, along with an actual assessment of those claims ( logos ). The analysis is rooted in the work of Aristotle, but expands to consider work on emotion and cognition conducted by Thagard and Gigerenzer. It also draws on some conclusions of the general epistemology of testimony (of which expert testimony (...) is a special subset), where it is argued that we learn not just from the transmission of another’s beliefs, but from the words they speak. This shifts the onus in testimony away from the intentions of a speaker onto the judgments of an audience, capturing better its social character and reflecting our experience of receiving testimony. I conclude, however, that accepting the arguments of experts involves much more than simply believing what they say. (shrink)
Ralph Johnson's Manifest Rationality (2000) is a major contribution to the field of informal logic, but the concept of argument that is central to its project suffers from a tension between the components that comprise it. This paper explores and addresses that tension by examining the implications of each of five aspects of the definition of ‘argument’.
Can moral disagreements be rationally resolved? Can universal human rights be defended in face of moral disagreements? The problem of moral disagreement is one of the central problems in moral thinking. It also provides a stimulating stepping-stone to some of the perennial problems of philosophy, such as relativism, scepticism, and objectivity. _Moral Disagreements_ is the first anthology to bring together classic and contemporary readings on this key topic. Clearly divided into five parts; The Historical Debate; Voices from Anthropology; Challenges to (...) Moral Objectivity; Defenses of Moral Objectivity; and New Directions, the anthology presents readings from the following key thinkers: * Sextus, Empiricus, Chagnon, Wong, MacIntyre * Aquinas, Shweder, Brink, Rawls * Montaigne, Turner, Nussbaum, Narayan * Hume, Mackie, Gewirth * Nietzsche, Williams, Berlin. A distinctive feature of the anthology is that it brings philosophers into dialogue with well-known anthropologists. Also included is a comprehensive introduction by Christopher Gowans, introducing the problem of moral disagreement to those coming to the topic for the first time. (shrink)
Concern for one's "reputation" has been introduced in recent game theory enabling theorists to demonstrate the rationality ofcooperative behavior in certain contexts. And these impressive results have been generalized to a variety of situations studied bystudents of business and business ethicists. But it is not clear that the notion of reputation employed has much explanatory power onceone sees what is meant. I also suggest that there may be some larger lessons about the notion of rationality used by decision theorists.
The human being is an imitative animal. This statement, or description, resonates across time and cultures. Its familiarity derives from its repetition. It has, in terms appropriate to this discussion, a memetic quality. What Aristotle says is that "imitation is natural to man from childhood, one of his advantages over the lower animals being this, that he is the most imitative creature in the world, and learns first by imitation". The proof for this, Aristotle goes on to explain, lies in (...) the pleasure derived from imitation. And if pleasurable, it is natural; we are naturally imitative creatures.Among our imitative practices is the social practice of argumentation with all its rhetorical... (shrink)
The paper investigates the `logical space of reasons' as a social space in which rational agents operate and persons in an important sense come to be. Building from an investigation of argumentative agents in Aristotle's Rhetoric, I discuss both interior and exterior criteria for personhood and propose that the latter shows how argumentation, as a principal activity of the space of reasons, results in the particular kinds of persons we recognize there as rational agents. The overall analysis is indebted to (...) Robert Brandom's centralizing of the practice of giving and receiving reasons and the suggestive ways this can be applied to the realm of argumentation. (shrink)